RUSTENBURG – Platinum Stars paid a heavy price for their wastefulness and slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Baroka FC in a Nedbank Cup Last 32 tie at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday night.
With barely a shot on target for much of the game and reduced to 10-men in the final quarter, the Limpopo visitors salvaged victory from the penalty spot midway through the second period to advance to the last 16 of South Africa’s premier cup competition.
Stars were in total control of the match, yet Roger de Sa’s consistently improving outfit found themselves on the wrong side of the score line with 20 minutes to go when Gift Motupa netted a penalty.
The referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot when Dikwena defender Sibusiso Mthethwa hung out a lazy foot and clipped Baroka substitute Mpho Kgaswane inside the box.
Bakgaga were reduced to 10 men 15 minutes from time when Goodman Mosele was yellow-carded for a second offence, but Stars, despite a number of chances, failed to make the numerical advantage count.
The longer the first half went on, one couldn’t help feeling Stars were more likely to draw first blood and Baroka shot-stopper Ayanda Dlamini was the busier of the two goalkeepers, but they went back to the dressing room with nothing to show.
Dikwena enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territorial dominance and looked the sharper of the two sides, but the visitors’ defence remained organised and relatively unflustered.
Letsie Koapeng squandered a golden opportunity to put the hosts ahead early on. He was played in behind the defence, but possibly anticipating the offside flag, fired a tame shot straight at the keeper from close range.
Minutes later, the Stars striker was again played in behind the defence, but on that occasion, the offside flag did go up.
African News Agency (ANA)